Saturday, February 4, 2012

How to: 1000 Lumen Maglite Mod with Voltage Monitor

How to: 1000 Lumen Maglite Mod with Voltage Monitor:

If you are dissatisfied with the brightness and lasting power of your flashlight, check out the tutorial below by our laser and lighting expert, Jayrob. The XM-L T6 emitter, will output 1000 lumens at 3 Amps (on high mode), and will output an impressive 386 lumens at only 1 Amp. (medium)

One problem with high output flashlights, is that 18650 batteries don’t give you much run time. Well here’s the answer! This modification is outputting about 1000 lumens on high and uses large capacity 32600 Li-Ion batteries! (or 32650′s, or 26650′s with sleeve).

Note: Some of the steps of this modification may be familiar to you if you have seem my Maglite Monster Laser thread


  • Good heat management because of heatsink mass

  • Good battery capacity vs size of light

  • Voltage monitor option

  • Heavy duty side button forward clicky for easy mode switching

  • Turn the head for focusing

  • And of course the nice quality finish of the Maglite with color choices


The Maglite heavy duty side button switch is a forward clicky. You can have a momentary on if desired. Or you can switch modes easily before you click it all the way on. The driver is a 3 mode driver: High, medium, low. This one switches modes very smooth and consistently. It has memory too so it will remember where it was last at.

Prepare the Switch:

If you would like to see more detail on the switch mod, see my Maglite P7 flashlight modification here: Easy Maglite P7 Mod!

Battery preparation:

Battery Voltage Monitor (Optional):

The battery voltage monitor is designed for LiPo’s, but Li-Ion’s are the same voltage as Li-Po’s, and it is a great set up! (Must use the 3.6 (or 3.7) to 4.2 (at full charge) Li-Ions. Not the 3 volt ones) I love having this voltage monitor for my 32600′s! Here’s how I installed it using a fiber optic plug:

Battery voltage monitor color code:

  • Bright blue – Full charge

  • Cyan – Very good

  • Green – Good

  • Yellow/Amber – Low warning

  • Red – Batteries low (70%)

The Spectrum battery voltage monitor will have a short 2 second initialization and some flashing when you first turn on the light. This is normal. See this short video demonstration.


The mass of my heatsink is the key to good heat management for this build. It is machined from a solid piece of 6061 round stock.

Important: The heatsink set screw fits a 1.5mm Hex wrench. If you try to remove or adjust the heatsink, be aware that it is under some spring tension (as can be seen it the picture)


Some slight modification needed for the reflector. (easy)

Beam shots:

Spot and spill:

Using the stock reflector, pointing at a wall, I measured the spill at 5′ distance, and it is 10′ wide. Then I measured the width of the spill at 9′ distance, and it is 17′ or 18′ wide. The spot, is about 8′ wide at 75′ when best focused.

Current readings: (2 X 5000mAh 32600 Li-Ion batteries)

  • High – 3100mA’s to the emitter, 1575mA’s at tail. (estimated run time – Over 3 hours at 1000 Lumens!)

  • Medium – 948mA’s to the emitter, 525mA’s at tail. (Estimated run time – 9.5 hours at 350 Lumens!)

  • Low – 157mA’s to the emitter, 114mA’s at tail. (Estimated run time – 43 hours!)

Please feel free to contact me here if you would like to purchase parts, or the complete build!

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